On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Frank Rich charged that it looks "morally bad" and "idiotic" that Republicans have not elected a black candidate to federal office in six years. The Republican party also seemed to remind Rich of South Africa’s racist Apartheid policy of the past: "The fact is, this isn`t South Africa 25 years ago, this is a major political party that is essentially all white. And the hierarchy of it is definitely white. There hasn`t been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years. And so, what does that tell us about the party? And how does that look to voters? I think it looks like it`s the party of the last century. It looks bad. Not only is it morally bad, but politically. I think it`s idiotic because it`s against the whole demographics of this country and where they’re going."
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Yesterday NewsBusters caught up with GOPAC chairman and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele at the Xcel Center, site of the Republican National Convention.
Steele told us the coverage of the campaign so far has "been a joke," and that "if the shoe were on the other foot, [media] would be scrutinizing the heck out of a black Republican or a Hispanic Republican" running for president.
Some excerpts of that interview are below, starting with Steele's reaction to the disparity in scrutiny of Sens. McCain and Obama (video available here):
Last week Fox News host Geraldo Rivera expressed he would be "proud" to vote for Barack Obama but on Saturday's "Geraldo At Large," he showed he still has some affinity for Hillary Clinton as well. When former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele claimed Clinton's Bosnia gaffe was the reason for her drop in a recent poll, Rivera felt for the former First Lady as he sympathized: "I think that, that's awful. I, I feel so bad for her for that."
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the April 5 edition of "Geraldo At Large":
GERALDO RIVERA: And Governor Steele, you have a situation where this Rasmussen poll, I was pretty shocked when I saw it, now showing Barack Obama, I think for only the second time over 50 percent. He's at 51, Hillary Clinton is at 41. That's a 10-point spread. It looks as if the momentum have, has that people are, are putting the, the Wright controversy behind Obama and now seem to be rallying to him in a way that I, up until now, have not seen. you until now have not seen.